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What Ballistic factors to consider for SD

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by unclmnky, Oct 16, 2010.

  1. unclmnky

    unclmnky New Member

    Oct 4, 2010
    Washington State
    I understand the velocity and energy and grain aspects, but I don't know what is an average velocity for say a .40 s&w to compare or the average energy behind a +p to know if I'm getting a good bullet. I really appreciate your info. This forum has been nothing short of professional and information filled. Thank you.
  2. josephbw

    josephbw Member

    Apr 30, 2010
    Western Ohio
  3. Al Thompson

    Al Thompson Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    South Carolina
    One tactic that's pretty well advocated is to find out what your local law enforcement carries and do the same. :) While their criteria may differ a bit (example - FBI likes bullets that go through automobile glass), it's pretty easy to defend in court and most agencies do a decent amount of research before choosing.

    The truth of the matter is that any decent JHP will work fine if you place it right and don't assume the first will work. :scrutiny:
  4. MTMilitiaman

    MTMilitiaman Senior Member

    Apr 28, 2005
    Missoula, Montana
    Don't get too caught up in the energy figures or velocity. Find something proven with a good street record, like the Speer Gold Dot or Federal HST, that shoots reliably in your firearm, and provides acceptable accuracy. The differences between most premium JHP in the same caliber, or even the difference between most defensive handgun cartridges with similar ammo, aren't big enough to be overly concerned about. It is far more important that you know your defensive ammo is reliable.

    Energy and velocity are merely indicators of potential performance. How much of that potential is realized depends on how it is used, which is a matter of bullet performance. Any premium, trusted JHP on the market is going to be designed to perform at velocities typical of their calibers, so that isn't much of a factor.

    And don't get too caught up in the over-penetration BS. Penetration is your friend. You need a bullet to get to and through the vitals from any shot angle regardless of whether you're shooting at a 130 pound meth addict or a 350 pound biker in leather. Frangibles and those light, fast rounds typically won't exhibit the kind of penetration you need to do this, which is why these manufactures typical boast energy figures and some sort of shock theory with very little applicability to real life.

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